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Digital Credit Union

The Member Experience Opportunity

We worked with DCU to overcome disruptive risks by undertaking ethnographic member insights research.

A man is carrying his kids through a field of grass

Digital Credit Union (DCU) is the largest credit union in New England and in the top twenty nationwide. This is largely due to word-of-mouth and member loyalty. Because credit unions are employee- or member-owned, member-centricity was always core to DCU’s culture. But, despite a long track record of delivering excellent in-person service, the results were proving uneven in a digital-first world.

The Challenge

DCU has a core customer-base that is very loyal because of the personalized service they received over the years. And many of their employees offer truly exceptional customer service. But, digital presented risks to retention and growth given younger generations’ shifting expectations and behaviors. We sought to address risk in three key areas:

The Risks of Digitization

Members want the best products, services, and advice. Increasingly, online services allow people to find, compare, and switch to the best solutions with ease. This ability could threaten DCU member retention and share of wallet.

The Risks of Commodification

While members expect the best value, DCU cannot expect to grow through a race to the bottom. To forestall commodification, DCU must avoid selling disconnected products to offering solutions that satisfy members’ financial dreams.

The Risk of Poor Experience

As DCU is exposed to national competitors, its members have more choices than ever. Experience—specifically journey management—would be critical to retain and attract members in a changing financial services environment.

Our Approach

We worked with DCU to overcome these disruptive risks by undertaking ethnographic member insights research. Our work identified 21 actionable opportunities across four themes. We further distilled insights into behavioral personas that drove segmentation in member journeys and unblocked digital engagement through personalization.

Research explained the “why” behind people’s attitudes, beliefs, motivations, and behaviors.
Behavioral personas synthesized distinct thinking styles and attitudes toward money. They allowed DCU to personalize CX and product offerings to engage more potential members.


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